Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Apr.28, 2013

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn? (Game-Based Learning)


Playing Tetris video game ‘fixes lazy eye’, doctors say

video gameCanadian doctors say they have found an inventive way to treat lazy eye – playing the Tetris video game.

The McGill University team discovered the popular tile-matching puzzle could train both eyes to work together.

In a small study, in Current Biology with 18 adults, it worked better than conventional patching of the good eye to make the weak one work harder.

The researchers now want to test if it would be a good way to treat children with the same condition.

UK studies are already under way.


Emily Treat discusses what went right and what went wrong in terms of initial concepts and content for the Half the Sky game. (Catch up on part 1 of the series, where Asi Burak talks about the game’s executive production, here.)


Serious Games Boost Civic Education In The Classroom

Earlier this month, Harvard Law School and the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools presented a daylong symposium titled “Civics Education: Why It Matters to Democracy, Society, and You”, to recognize the extraordinary work led by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in iCivics and explore paths to advance the way young people are prepared to participate in democracy.

iCivics is an online learning platform devoted to the topic. Grounded in O’Connor’s campaign to reverse the declining civic knowledge of Americans, the iCivics website provides 17 educational Serious Games and free civics resources for teachers. It has received 1.6 million visitors since it was created in 2009, shortly after she retired from the Supreme Court.These Serious Games are grouped under seven topics such as citizenship and participation, the judicial branch of the United States government, budgeting, and more. If you follow the Teachers, this way! icon on the front page, you will be taken to the iCivics curriculum collection. You can browse the curriculum units or search for units aligned with state standards.

game-based learning

Top 10 Education Gamification Examples that will Change our Future

Key to these goals is the effort to maintain a rich communications environment that encourages feedback and reinforcement, not only between the instructor/teacher and students, but also between the students themselves.  These socially interactive mechanisms, with the proper level of control for encouragement and discipline, can be designed in effective ways to create “fun” learning situations.  The following examples reveal a number of ingenious approaches for not only improving the learning process, but also producing more effective educational environments….


Game-based learning: latest evidence and future directions (free download)

The review aims to bridge academic and non academic domains, to provide insights that will be of interest to educators, educational researchers, industry and others seeking to engage in a more thoughtful debate about the types of educational values that can be attached to gaming. In particular, we provide accessible advice for practitioners, in the belief that innovation in education is always underpinned by informed and critical teaching.
The main findings are as follows:

The literature was split on the extent to which video games can impact upon overall academic performance.

The studies consistently found that video games can impact positively on problem solving skills, motivation and engagement. However, it was unclear whether this impact could be sustained over time.

Despite some promising results, the current literature does not evidence adequately the presumed link between motivation, attitude to learning and learning outcomes. Overall, the strength of the evidence was often affected by the research design or lack of information about the research design.


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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